Lindsay Jang, Co-Founder of Yardbird, Ronin, Sunday’s Grocery and MISSBISH

A serial restaurateur and fashion influencer, Lindsay Jang kicked off her entrepreneurial journey six years ago with the opening of modern yakitori restaurant Yardbird

Since then, Lindsay has co-founded three more companies -- Ronin, a sophisticated Japanese restaurant, Sunday’s Grocery, an online liquor and lifestyle shop; and editorial platform MISSBISH, which will soon feature its own apparel collection.

Lindsay shares her words of advice, tricks of the trade, and tips for managing people like a boss.  

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A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE

Find great people

The key to my success are the people around me. They are the ones who are learning and coming up with ideas. The less I have to be a “boss” or delegate, or pinpoint something, the more successful I feel as a business owner.

Empower people

I 100% think that my ability to avoid micromanaging people is the key to moving forward. I’m so happy to empower people and give them responsibility and decision-making power.

I want to let people figure things out on their own, in their own way, to find to a solution instead of me sort of hand-holding the whole time.

I’m happy for people to make mistakes and learn from them. I think that’s the most valuable lesson.

Know your strengths

I think my strongest skill is the ability to look at the big picture. I don’t get stuck on the small things which, don’t get me wrong, we always need someone paying attention to every small thing, but I’m pretty good at looking at everything from a macro perspective.

Gill and Nicole (co-founders of MISSBISH) had the idea of MISSBISH, and they invited me to be a co-founder.  

I think mainly because I’m the extrovert. I was the one who was like 'Let’s go out and talk and pitch and sell an idea.' So, that’s how MISSBISH came about for me.

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Find a balance

There have been moments of pure fun, but plenty of terrible moments too. Opening your own business is exactly that. You are responsible for so many people and, as your team grows, you start to understand that you provide a lifeline to a lot of people who are your employees.

There’s a really fine balance when you are managing a team. I try to treat every single person in the exact same way and I think that allows them to flourish in their roles because they know our relationship, they know their role and responsibility, and they also have boundaries.

We work in a very trusting way -- I let them work remotely, during whatever hours they feel most creative -- as long as their deliverables are met. I’ve learned to set boundaries and parameters for making a team efficient, productive and happy.

Embrace different personalities

I think being the eldest of three girls and growing up in hospitality has been a major influence in how I manage people around me.

Managing people, to me, is understanding personalities and learning how to encourage people in a positive way. But it's also learning how to give criticism in a positive way.

Hire people smarter than you

Most people don’t know everything -- and you can’t be the best at everything. Finding people that can be the best at what you’re the worst at is how you grow. That's how you’re able to focus and be more efficient with your time

A FEW MORE QUESTIONS

How do you stay organized?

I’m very organized digitally and that’s how we work on a daily basis. We all have a very open line of communication, whether it’s on WhatsApp or Line or Todoist or Slack or email or Google Hangouts. There’s always 10 ways to get a hold of each other and a lot of back and forth.

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You’re a qualified yoga instructor. Is yoga part of your daily routine?

I don’t have a fixed daily routine that I stick to, but I try to be active every single day in some capacity. 

If I’m not tired, jetlagged, or traveling, then I generally do yoga for about an hour a day. I do try to sweat every day. I have a sauna at home, which I use religiously.

If I’m traveling, I will try and check out the local fitness scene -- I feel like it’s very telling. Plus, it's  good market research obviously for MISSBISH and just my own knowledge. 

Any favorite meeting spots in Hong Kong?

I always meet at FUEL in the Landmark, even though it’s really busy. I also love MO Bar -- it’s super central and it’s somewhat quiet if you can get a seat.

How do you prepare for a big day?

For a big day, I’m usually in bed as early as possible. I’ve recently cut back on alcohol, which is a huge part of my job, but that has definitely offered me more clarity more consistently. I’m trying to just drink on weekends!

How do you like to unwind?

To me, the ultimate luxury is just to chill out with my family. I like to be at home, eating dinner and hanging out with my kids. 

Any parting words of advice?

Be nice to other people. You never know what’s going to happen and there’s no time to be an a**hole.